Crimson Reflections

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Lolita Fashion History

Lolita Blog Carnival : 5 New Releases + My Thoughts on Them

This week’s lolita blog carnival topic is “Share 5 New Releases & Your Thoughts On Them”, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, because I have a lot of thoughts about some of these recent and upcoming brand releases!

Angelic Pretty

Angelic Pretty Candy – Twitter

AP candy teased this new AP series on twitter earlier this week and it started a huge debate on rufflechat about if this is or isn’t lolita.

So, without going super in depth into 1950’s fashion history, let’s look really quickly at a couple skirts from the 50’s. These images are taken from “50’s Skirt Styles” from Vintage Dancer.

These are circle skirts, the one on the left has a border print and is pleated, while the one on the right is button down. They aren’t quite the same shape as most lolita skirts, however, they are cut to hit right at the waist, and extend to below the knee, and we do have a border print. Compare these to things like these skirts from the adult’s line at Shirley Temple & Emily Temple Cute.

If we accept that early proto lolita came out of brands like Milk and Shirley Temple + their sub-brand / spin off brand Emily Temple Cute that operated under the greater ‘otome’ umbrella, and if those brands are strongly influences by 50’s fashion, then theoretically, we have to assume that lolita is also influenced by 50’s fashion, right?

Circle skirts aren’t common in lolita, and they aren’t the primary shape for lolita skirts, but, they also aren’t completely absent. Here are just a couple pieces from Angelic Pretty and Metamorphose. And while these pieces are circa 2007-2008, there are circle skirts that date back to 2003 and earlier; there just weren’t nice stock photos of them

Another thing that we see in this series that comes from the 1950s is what is essentially a variation on a poodle skirt: a circle skirt with an applique at one hip, typically a poodle, but other motifs were also used as seen in this picture to the left.

This poodle skirt style aplique was used by brands like Shirley Temple / Emily Temple Cute for years, and in the early days of sweet lolita, it was, for a time, more common than border prints

It’s fallen a little out of favor, but here is a small selection of brand dresses, skirts and coats using this sort of motif with both circle skirts and more traditionally shaped lolita skirts.

One thing that I particularly love about this trend is that a lot of the small animals that weren’t poodles that popped up in applique on AP pieces went on to become iconic mascots for Angelic Pretty.

Lastly, 50’s diner and general 50’s themes pop up in a number of AP print series, like Diner Doll, Fantastic Dolly and Fruits Parlor.

So, we have, at the very least, a precedent of brands, particularly sweet brands like Angelic Pretty and Metamorphose who would have been following after brands like Shirley Temple, borrowing design concepts or ideas from 1950s and incorporating them into lolita. (In fact, this was relatively common enough for it to be mentioned back on EGL in 2005 as part of people’s answers to why polka dots could be acceptable in lolita fashion. )

Based on that alone, it doesn’t seem particularly wild for Angelic Pretty to tap into a 50’s aesthetic for a series. I do think that with this, and with the recent milkshake set, the 50’s influence is stronger than the lolita influence unlike some of the past pieces.

Street Snap
Alice Doll Mook

But is it lolita? I guess, at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s a textbook example of what lolita is. If I was explaining lolita to a newbie, I wouldn’t show them this. But at the same time, I think that there is enough history to not totally exclude this. I think it could be coordinated in a way that allowed it to fit under the greater lolita envelope. I also think that we need to be careful in how tightly we define what is or isn’t lolita. No street style brand exists in a bubble, they are influenced by the trends around them, and changes in what people like. Stagnating the style by being overly strict about what can and can’t be included could prevent growth. If lolita and lolita brands are going to have the longevity of brands like MILK and Pink House, I think they need to be able to experiment and change.

After all, what we call lolita today, already looks quite different from what “lolita” was 20 years ago. 20 years from now, I expect it will be different in ways we can’t yet image.

Personally, I love this series. I think it’s super cute and I love the 50’s retro vibe, even if it’s not textbook lolita. While multiple people on rufflechat mentioned you could make this; I think it’s probably harder to make than a lot of other plain non-print items due to the sheer amount of fabric you would need to make a circle skirt and the detailing around the pockets and the collar. All in all, it’s different while following in traditional footsteps, it’s cute, and, it doesn’t have to be textbook lolita to exist.

Alice and the Pirates

Blue Sky Viewed Through a Window

Not only is this ouji set totally adorable, it’s sweeter than most ouji things and has a vague cat theme: what’s not to love?

The model to the left is wearing a salopette which comes in white, navy and black (only left in black as of writing), and a kitten eared straw hat, which, yes, does have actual cat ears molded into the straw hat base.

The hat is not sold out and comes in 3 base colors: white, natural and black. I assume the price is what is holding people back, it does clock in at a slightly steep 11,664 yen.

The model on the right is wearing the Antique Marini blouse and shorts combo with a matching fabric hat. The blouse has a nice oversize collar and a loose fit. It comes with the collar accent in pink or black (in stock) and also came in camel and gray (sold out). The gray had a white base instead of the ivory for the other 3 color ways. The shorts have a 3-tiered hip ruffle bustle on either side, but the back and front are flat. They come in pink, gray and black, and there was also camel which is sold out. They are so sweet and cute it’s giving me a tooth ache. I could totally see this being an outfit straight out of an episode of Card Captor Sakura. The hat from this series is darling, came in the same colors as the blouse, and is currently sold out in every color except black.

I love everything about this and I can’t wait to see the coordinates people make with these pieces!

Juliette et Justine

Silver Dinnerware

I have to admit, the first time I saw this, I got really confused as to what type of animal the honey jar is. To be honest, I find it to be really creepy too. Because it’s in front of pale gray colored stuff, the handle, which is the tail gets lost. It’s also rendered with black puts for eyes, and there is less detail than in the original antique. I tracked it down on ebay, but, I still find it very unsettling.

It’s otherwise a nice dress, I like the vivid red sash paired with the gray and the detail in the doilies and silver, but, something about the monkey jar just screams cursed object to me.


Blue Rose Yukata

I can not stress enough how impressed I’ve been with Moi-Meme-Moitie / Mana’s recent brand resurgence after the Wunderwelt acquisition. For a brand that doesn’t currently have a designer and is operating entirely on past reputation and celebrity star power of a musician who, while an icon, hasn’t put out an album in almost decade (that I know of?), they have absolutely been killing it.

The base yukata is simple; Moitie blue roses, a subtle stripe and MmM monograms. However, it’s also quite elegant, and it stays true to the brand image / themes without being a black yukata. The obi bow shown on the model photos is a bit much, but the moitie blue one in the folded image tones it down nicely. I’m not someone who wears Moitie or yukata personally, but I think this is nice.

Physical Drop

Baby Doll Series

The Baby Doll Series from Physical drop is set to be released for reservations on June 8th, 2019. Just for some background, Metamorphose designer/founder Kuniko Kato left Metamorphose a while back and started her own brand. This new brand was Physical Drop. Because Kato-san was one of the early designers of lolita, you can often see aspects of iconic Metamorphose designs even in her newer work.

An Early Metamorphose Baby Doll OP

This piece in particular was made to intentionally be reflective of 1990s lolita dresses. While few pictures are available of 1990s lolita, you can certainly see similarities between this new piece and iconic pieces made by Metamorphose in the early 2000s.

In addition to it basically being a modern version of a vintage lolita style by the actual original designer, Physical Drop is offering pieces from this new series in a plus sized version that stretches up to 128cm in the bust and waist.

The series comes in black, white, wine and of course, black x white. Overall I really like it, though looking at the samples, I have to say that at first the change in fabric to a more modern polyester felt like an odd choice to me? But at the same time, that makes it machine washable, easy to care for, wrinkle resistant and it’s going to take up less storage space, so I feel like while it might be a slightly different drape, overall, it’s much more practical than older organdy, cotton broad or goblin dresses in similar cuts.

That is my very long and rambling take on these new pieces. Are you planing on getting any of them? Have thoughts on any of them? Want to argue about 50’s influence on lolita? Let me know in the comments! And best of luck to anyone trying to order anything this weekend; may the odds be ever in your favor!

Other blogs participating in this theme:
Cupcakes and Unicorns ❤ < a href="">Gotas de Baunilha ❤

4 comments on “Lolita Blog Carnival : 5 New Releases + My Thoughts on Them

  1. Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I was 100% under the impression that the AP polka dot item was a skirt, not a dress. The bodice part looks exactly like the bodice from the Milkshake set and especially in that flatlay picture, the way the bodice narrows down, looks to me a lot like what I do when I try to tuck blouses into skirts in flatlays. I guess it remains to be seen whether it is a dress or a skirt. As lovely as it is and as much as I like it, I fully anticipate it to be completely unshirred, in which case I wouldn’t be able to fit into it, so I’m really not holding my breath for it.
    And I agree with you on the Physical Drop release. I like how they’re releasing something that’s intentionally a 1990’s design and given how oldschool is becoming popular yet again, it’s a very smart move. True, die hard oldschool fans probably won’t be happy about the fabric choice, but for someone who just likes the look, but isn’t keen on the hassle of maintaining it (and I know first hand how tiring steaming ruffles on cotton can be), this will be perfect. I really want to see it worn and styled once it releases.

    1. I’m not 100% sure if the AP series is a skirt + blouse or a dress with a faux skirt/blouse combo look. It does look like a blouse being tucked in, but I’m not certain enough to go one way or the other.

      Honestly, at first I thought it was a skirt over the milkshake OP, but turns out they have different buttons / collars.

      It makes me wish I had a copy of the book it was published in because I’m sure it says in the caption….

      Probably won’t fit me either, TBH. ;___;

      Yeah, I’m so over ironing XD I steam the ruffles on my old school IW pieces most of the time, but it’s not always the best…

  2. Physical Drop’s release in poly does sound a bit odd, and I’d probably wait for user reviews on it before putting it on my wishlist. But, on the other hand, it looks a bit lighter from the stock pictures, and probably easier to wash and store.

    I also loved that you tracked down that bizarre looking bottle on Ebay, haha. The same seller had other options with squirrels, bears, birds and ?????

    1. One of my friends made an off hand comment to me to track down what they copied it from on ebay and I went looking and found it XD I totally didn’t expect it to just… be there.

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